By Alex McMahon
The MLS is one of the most exciting leagues in the world
As the business end of the season approaches, the MLS is really starting to get interesting as teams fight to reach the postseason. DC United remain clear leaders in the East but just two points separate five teams in the MLS’ Western Conference. In last week’s edition, we discussed Robbie Keane’s hat-trick for LA Galaxy and Kaka’s red card for Orlando City. This week, we take a look at one of the greatest matches in MLS history and the difference in fortunes between some of the league’s top clubs.
New York City FC and Toronto played out an eight-goal thriller
With three penalties, a hat-trick and Frank Lampard watching on from the sidelines, this match had everything. New York City were pegged back after establishing an early lead through David Villa and an own-goal as Toronto’s Sebastian Gionvinco – arguably the best player in the MLS this season – bamboozled New York City’s defence to claim a treble. The Italian netted the hat-trick inside 10 minutes prior to half-time and although the hosts were much improved in the second-half, they were unable to regain the lead and were forced to settle for a point.
New England Revolution have won just one of their last 13 MLS games
New York Red Bulls earned a 4-1 victory over New England Revolution to improve their chances of competing in the MLS’ Eastern Conference. The hosts raced into the lead, scoring three times in the opening 12 minutes of the clash. The Red Bulls set a new record time for the fastest team to score three goals in an MLS match – an impressive feat. The Revolution failed to respond and, despite pulling a goal back through Andy Dorman in the 37th minute, laboured to a fifth straight defeat as the hosts prospered and moved up to second in the division.
FC Dallas maintain their excellent form in the MLS’ Western Conference
A ‘Kaka-less’ Orlando City were well beaten by FC Dallas as the visitors continued their great run of form. Fabian Castillo dominated the clash and played a key role in Dallas’ opening goal as he went on a jinking run before he was brought down to win a penalty. Mauro Diaz drilled the spot-kick home to give the visitors a half-time lead. The Colombian was instrumental in their second goal too as he played a great pass to Victor Ulloa, who then assisted David Texeira to slot past the helpless Tally Hall in the Orlando City goal.
Sporting KC are well placed to challenge for the MLS Cup this year
Sporting KC have the best defensive record in the MLS and will be hoping that they can build a title challenge this campaign. They are currently just two points behind first-placed Whitecaps but have three games in hand over the Canadian side. Kevin Ellis grabbed the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute to earn all three points for the visitors. Sporting Kansas City are currently 47/4 to win the MLS Cup this campaign and, on current form, it would be hard to back against them. After all, defence wins championships…
Do you think Sporting KC can push for the MLS Cup this season? Can FC Dallas or New York Red Bulls challenge for the crown? Let us know in the comments below!